By Jeff Suwak
The first one was spotted crossing the train tracks across from the Glass Museum–-a redheaded woman wearing twenty-foot high heels. The incident reports said she looked like some kind of enormous humanoid velociraptor lumbering through the mist, her feet grotesquely elongated and her back hunched over by the footwear’s unnatural anatomical demands.
Dozens more stories soon filled the airwaves. By noon, there were thousands of women in twenty-foot high heels clacking through the streets and alleyways, apparently indifferent to everything and anything except for each other.
My first thoughts were for Susan and Elizabeth, and I rushed home to find them after they didn’t answer their phones. Like every other man on the planet, I soon learned that the women in my life had never been in danger of the twenty-foot high-heeled women; no, they were the twenty-foot high-heeled women. All at once, we knew that our lives would never be the same again.
We searched for our ladies and screamed their names, but they all seemed bent to some mysterious purpose that had nothing to do with us. That first day, nearly a hundred of me were impaled by the heels of oblivious women. After that, we all locked ourselves indoors.
Five days after the terror began, the Guerilla Fashionistas made their first broadcasts on the radio. Their one-sentence statement, which they repeated over and over again, was as simple as it was confounding. We demand that our demands are met, they said. We demand that our demands are met.
I sat by my radio day and night like a naïve, expectant child, waiting for explanation on what the women wanted. What a fool I was! Nothing more ever came. It was just that one line, over and over and over again. We demand that our demands are met.
Men started taking the bridge. The rest drank and fought and sobbed in each other’s arms. The world slowed all around us. If it wasn’t for the gay men, all of civilization would have collapsed. For us straight guys, there just didn’t seem to be any point to any of it with no women around.
Before the coming of the twenty-foot high heels, I’d never realized how completely my motivation stemmed from the desire to attract and please women. Without Susan or Elizabeth, there was no reason to shave my face or do sit ups, much less sit in an office cubicle for eight hours. Instead, I spent my time in drunken despair, screaming outside the window for my wife and daughter to come home. No answer came. Still, no answer ever comes.
So it is that I am left in this decaying world, simultaneously cowering from the women in the twenty-foot high heels and yearning desperately for their return. Many times I think that being impaled upon Susan’s heel would be better than this fate, but I lack the fortitude for such a sacrifice.
Would things have been different if I’d told her more often how important she was to me? But I didn’t know! No, I couldn’t see any of it until she was gone.
Through the first weeks of the terror, I consoled myself with the notion that the women in the twenty-foot high heels would someday specify their demands and clarify what they wanted from us. Lately, however, a more terrifying question has come to occupy my mind: what if they don’t even know what their demands are?
Some of Jeff Suwak’s recent short fiction publication credits include Plasma Frequency Magazine, The Colored Lens, Specklit, and Spark: A Creative Anthology. He is the author of “Beyond the Tempest Gate” and “No Punchline” and is a regular contributor to the Prague Revue, Song Places, and Song Facts.